Ok so it’s been since July and no update?!?! Frustrating i know, especially when i mentioned the next update was going to be a video. So what happened? Why didn’t i get the video out? Well unfortunately i had a few problems with what i had been doing. My original plans were quite simple. When you close a game everything that game was doing, in our case growing a plant, stops. It can only be calculated if it’s open and being calculated. So my original plan’s of coarse was the whole MMO style server system that is in place. It’s always on so your plant’s can always be calculated even when your not playing.
All sounds fairly straight forward right? Well, no. Actually it started to dawn on me, what if 10,000 plants had to be calculated. What if 10,000 plants had to be calculated every second? That would bring up the costs in the long term, it would need a powerful server to run it. That wasn’t my main concern, the main problem i saw is i can not test for this until the game is released, which is too late. That to me seemed far too much of a risk. So it meant doing some fairly sophisticated calculations to figure out what the plants are doing, are they dead? Did they need watering? How far have they grown? Easiest way to put it, the system took well over 2000 lines of code to achieve. It has been a make or break situation though i can finally say it’s complete.
So why no video? Well things have progressed much more then this now. I have completed the drying system. Also the inventory system is half complete (hopefully after writing this I will get it complete tonight). After that the final system to make it playable is the selling system. This is something if you had asked me a month ago if i would be working on this soon I would have laughed. Though finally it seems progress is really happening.
So it’s time to talk about the future of the game, when will we see a release? What are my plans?
Well i’m aiming on releasing a pre alpha of the game before Christmas. As i’ve said already the game is coming around full circle. Buy rooms, buy equipment, grow plants, store in your inventory and then the final part selling your weed. Now i have a lot of plans, more then i can remember right now, the game will be far more complex then buy, grow and sell. When you can put it as basic as buy grow and sell this is the fundamentals to the basis of this game. I hope for it to almost be an MMO with things such as maybe gangs, world chat and friends lists to just name a few ideas. Though i do not want it to be a fully true MMO where you will see other players in your game, it’s unnecessary and wouldn’t add any value to the game. Also it’ll be a huge weight on the server that is not needed. Though with that said i would like to eventually make some multi player part to the game. Something that will truly bring the MMO experience together in an unusual way. Which fits in with this game, it is going to be unusual and different but hopefully very fun when your building your weed empire!
So pre alpha is absolutely necessary for this game. I will never be able to see how the server will hold up with the game until i can get people playing the game. You can not play the game until there is a game and it’s vital it is a great game to play. So seeing as i’m in a good point with seeing a full circle to the game there’s much more to be done to make it enjoyable such as a leveling and an unlock able system. There’s also a lot of polishing to be done. There’s a lot more i want to get in then that but i’ll keep that a secret for now. Though i will not be building any of the MMO features into the game for the pre alpha. If the server situation goes incredibly wrong (touch wood it’s wont) I can then turn the game into an entire single player game. The plant system will still work as it does now and you will still have a perfectly workable game. I’m as prepared as i could possibly be at this stage for anything that i can’t test for.
So how much will it cost? Well i have for awhile had in mind a price for the game for pre alpha. So save your pennies as the game in pre alpha will cost £3.99! Of coarse by supporting me you will then receive every update of the game through it’s development. For the past year i have been developing iGrow on my days off work and after work, it feels i’m constantly working 2 jobs and one doesn’t pay. I hope from your support I can go full time in developing iGrow into a universe and make your money’s worth go as far as I can possibly take it. I know some may be a bit disappointed that iGrow won’t be a free indie game. Unfortunately i’ve been at this for 10 years learning as much as i could. All i’ve learn’t is going into iGrow for you all to enjoy. I need a break, i need this to be my job so I can start living some kind of a normal life. It is 9 o’clock at night in the UK right now and i’m planning on working on the game after writing this. Though you might be disappointed at iGrow not being free, you will benefit more from paying for iGrow to support full time development. Which is kind of important considering I am the only one developing this game.
So these are my plans and this hopefully no longer keeps you in the dark of what’s happening and what will be happening in the up coming months! Thanks to everyone who’s been following the development of iGrow and don’t forget to follow on twitter, I update nearly every time I’m working on iGrow so it’s the best way to keep up to date with what’s happening!